Fashion News Alert: Nicki Minaj Signs with Wilhelmina, Rezoning Threatens NYC’s Garment District, Joan Smalls New Gig, and Layoffs


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T and A is really trending, especially, if you are Nicki Minaj. Minaj has officially been signed as a model with Wilhelmina’s celebrity division that includes Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas.

“I love the synergy between my music and how it inspires my fashion,” Minaj said in a press release. “My message is always about celebrating your own style. I’m thrilled and honored to have signed with Wilhelmina. They get me.”

It should be noted that Nicki Minaj is one of Riccardo Tisci muses, and has appeared in Roberto Cavalli’s spring 2015 campaign.

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Garment District sellout

Just when you thought New York City’s Garment District would be preserved, the CFDA and New York City and Economic and Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has introduced a multi-million dollar rezoning package moving the Garment District to Sunset Park in Brooklyn. Was Anna Sui, Nanette Lepore, Yeohlee and other fashion designers work in vain?

For those who don’t remember, over 25 years ago Anna Sui, Yeohlee, and Nanette Lepore launched Save the Garment campaign which helped keep real estate developers hands off critical manufacturing space in the Garment District. Now surprisingly, the CFA and NYCEDC has proposed a $51.3 million plan that will stimulate manufacturing in NYC by rezoning the Garment District to Sunset Park.

Garment District manufacturers and some NYC City Council members are outraged at this proposal. Though not opposed to the new Sunset Park fashion hub, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer believes this move will “[add] hours or days to the production process,” according to an article on Manufacturing jobs in NYC have fallen from a high of 90,000 in the 1960s to currently just 14,000.

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Joan Smalls innovates

If being one of the most sought after supermodels is not enough, Supermodel Joan Smalls has signed on as the first global innovator for W Hotels. Smalls will assist W Hotels in shaping its fashion platform around the world. Duties will include making special appearances, collaborating on unique partnerships, and participating in exclusive in-room digital content on The Angle, W’s digital platform that features the latest in fashion, music, and design and FUEL, the brand’s take on healthy living through spa, food and working out, as well as local content from W destinations around the globe

“I am thrilled to be named the first-ever global fashion innovator of W Hotels,” said Smalls in a statement. “It is a dream job of mine to be able to combine two of the things I love the most: travel and fashion. W Hotels—and their incredible line up of hotels around the world—is the perfect partner for such a collaboration. I’m excited to share my passions, tips and personal style with W guests,” detailed Smalls in a


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Trouble for Amazon

Quidisi, a beauty product subsidiary of, is causing Amazon to bleed jobs. is planning to layoff 263 workers in New Jersey this summer because of restricting around Quidisi.

“We have worked extremely hard for the past seven years to get Quidsi to be profitable, and unfortunately we have not been able to do so,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement in a post. “Quidsi has great brand expertise and they will continue to offer selection on; the software development team will focus on building technology for AmazonFresh.”

Quidsi operates and other websites that appeal to young moms. Amazon will move some staff from the Quidsi sites to AmazonFresh. Affected employees at New Jersey-based Quidsi will be able to apply for other positions in Amazon, the company said in its New Jersey filing. (Reuters)

—William S. Gooch





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